Common Sense, By Thomas Paine, January 10, 1776, Edited by Stanley L.
by Thomas Paine
January 10, 1777
edited by Stanley L. Klos March 1, 2000
Thoughts on the present State of
following page, I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments,
and common sense: and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader,
than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his
reason and his feelings to determine for themselves: that he will put on, or
rather that he will not put off, the true character of a man, and generously
enlarge his views beyond the present day.
have been written on the subject of the struggle between England and America.
Men of all ranks have embarked in the controversy, from different motives, and
with various designs; but all have been ineffectual, and the period of debate is
closed. Arms as the last resource decide the contest; the appeal was the choice
of the king, and the continent has accepted the challenge.
been reported of the late Mr. Pelham (who though an able minister was not
without his faults) that on his being attacked in the House of Commons on the
score that his measures were only of a temporary kind, replied " they will
last my time." Should a thought so fatal and unmanly possess the Colonies in
the present contest, the name of ancestors will be remembered by future
generations with detestation.
never shone on a cause of greater worth. It is not the affair of a city, a
county, a province or a kingdom; but of a continent—of at least one eighth part
of the habitable globe. It is not the concern of a day, a year, or an age;
posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less
affected even to the end of time by the proceedings now. Now is the seed-time of
continental union, faith and honor. The least fracture now, will be like a name
engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the wound
will enlarge with the tree, and posterity read it in full grown characters.
referring the matter from argument to arms, a new era for politics is struck, a
new method of thinking hath arisen. All plans, proposals, &c. prior to the 19th
of April, i.e. to the commencement of hostilities, are like the almanacs of the
last year; which though proper then, are superseded and useless now. Whatever
was advanced by the advocates on either side of the question then, terminated in
one and the same point, viz. a union with Great Britain; the only difference
between the parties, was the method of effecting it; the one proposing force the
other friendship; but it hath so far happened that the first hath failed, and
the second hath withdrawn her influence.
hath been said of the advantages of reconciliation, which like an agreeable
dream, hath passed away and left us as we were, it is but right, that we should
examine the contrary side of the argument, and enquire into some of the many
material injuries which these colonies sustain, and always will sustain, by
being connected with and dependant on Great Britain. To examine that connection
and dependence on the principles of nature and common sense to see what we have
to trust to if separated, and what we are to expect if dependant.
heard it asserted by some, that as America hath flourished under her former
connection with Britain, that the same connection is necessary towards her
future happiness and will always have the same effect. Nothing can be more
fallacious than this kind of argument. We may as well assert that because a
child hath thrived upon milk, that it is never to have meat, or that the first
twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty.
But even this is admitting more than is true, for I answer, roundly, that
America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European
power taken any notice of her. The commerce by which she hath enriched herself
are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the
custom of Europe.
hath protected us, say some. That she has engrossed us is true, and defended the
Continent at our expenses as well as her own is admitted; and she would have
defended Turkey from the same motive, viz. the sake of trade and dominion.
have been long led away by ancient prejudices and made large sacrifices to
superstition. We have boasted the protection of Great Britain, without
considering, that her motive was interest, not attachment; that
she did not protect us from our enemies on our account, but from her enemies
on her own account, from those who had no quarrel with us on any
other account, and who will always be our enemies on the same account. Let
Britain waive her pretensions to the continent, or the continent throw off the
dependence, and we should be at peace with France and Spain were they at war
with Britain. The miseries of Hanover last war ought to warn us against
lately been asserted in parliament, that the colonies have no relation to each
other but through the parent country, i.e. that Pennsylvania and the Jerseys and
so on for the rest, are sister colonies by the way of England; this is certainly
a very round-about way of proving relationship but it is the nearest and only
true way of proving enemy-ship, if I may so call it. France and Spain never
were, nor perhaps ever will be our enemies as Americans, but as our being the
subjects of Great Britain.
Britain is the parent country say some. Then the more the shame upon her
conduct. Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their
families; wherefore, the assertion, if true, turns to her reproach; but it
happens not to be true, or only partly so, and the phrase, parent or mother
country, hath been jesuitically adopted by the king and his parasites, with a
low papistical design of gaining an unfair bias on the credulous weakness of our
minds. Europe and not England is the parent country of America. This new world
hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty
from every part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces
of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of
England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home,
pursues their descendants still.
extensive quarter of the Globe, we forget the narrow limits of three hundred and
sixty miles (the extent of England) and carry our friendship on a larger scale;
we claim brotherhood with every European Christian, and triumph in the
generosity of the sentiment.
pleasant to observe by what regular gradations we surmount the force of local
prejudice as we enlarge our acquaintance with the world. A man born in any town
in England divided into parishes, will naturally associate most with his fellow
parishioners (because their interests in many cases will be common) and
distinguish him by the name of neighbor; if he meet him but a few miles
from home, he drops the narrow idea of a street, and salutes him by the name of
townsman; if he travel out of the county and meet him in any other, he
forgets the minor divisions of street and town, and calls him countryman,
i.e. countryman; but if in their foreign excursions they should associate in
France, or any other part of Europe, their local remembrance would be enlarged
into that of Englishmen. And by a just parity of reasoning, all Europeans
meeting in America, or any other quarter of the Globe, are countrymen;
for England, Holland, Germany, or Sweden, when compared with the whole, stand in
the same places on a larger scale, which the divisions of street, town, and
county do on the smaller ones; Distinctions too limited for Continental minds.
Not one third of the inhabitants, even of this province, are of English descent.
Wherefore, I reprobate the phrase of parent or mother country applied to England
only, as being' false, selfish, narrow, and; ungenerous.
admitting that we were all of English descent, what does it amount to? Nothing.
Britain being now an open enemy, extinguishes every other name and title: and to
say that reconciliation is our duty, is truly farcical. The first king of
England, of the present line (William the Conqueror) was a Frenchman, and half
the Peers of England are descendants from the same country; wherefore, by the
same method of reasoning, England ought to be governed by France.
been said of the united strength of Britain and the Colonies, that in
conjunction, they might bid defiance to the world. But this is mere presumption,
the fate of war is uncertain: neither do the expressions mean anything, for the
Continent would never suffer itself to be drained of inhabitants, to support the
British Arms in either Asia, Africa, or Europe.
what have we to do with setting the world at defiance? Our plan is commerce, and
that well attended to, will secure us the peace and friendship of Europe,
because it is the interest of all Europe to have America a free port. Her
trade will always be a protection, and her barrenness of gold and silver will
secure her from invaders.
challenge the warmest advocate for reconciliation, to shew a single advantage
that this Continent can reap, by being connected with Great Britain. I repeat
the challenge, not a single advantage is derived. Our corn will fetch its price
in any market in Europe, and our imported goods must be paid for, buy them where
injuries and disadvantages we sustain by that connection, are without number,
and our duty to mankind at large, as well as to ourselves, instruct us to
renounce the alliance. Because any submission to, or dependence on Great
Britain, tends directly to involve this Continent in European wars and quarrels.
As Europe is our market for trade, we ought to form no political connections
with any part of it. It is the true interest of America, to steer clear of
European, contentions, which she never can do, while by her dependence on
Britain, she is made the make-weight in the scale of British politics.
Europe is too thickly planted with
kingdoms to be long at peace, and whenever a war breaks out between. England and
any foreign power, the trade of America goes to ruin, because of her
connection with Britain. The next war may not turn out like the last, and
should it not, the advocates for reconciliation now, will be wishing for
separation then, because neutrality in that case, would be a safer convoy than a
man of war. Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The
blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, It Is
Time To Part.
Even the distance at which the Almighty hath placed
England and America, is a strong and natural proof, that the authority of the
one over the other, was never the design of Heaven. The time likewise at which
the Continent was discovered, adds weight to the argument, and the manner in
which it was peopled increases the force of it. The Reformation was preceded by
the discovery of America; as if the Almighty graciously meant to open a
sanctuary to the persecuted in future years, when home should afford neither
friendship nor safety.
The authority of Great Britain over this
Continent is a form of government which sooner or later must have an end. And a
serious mind can draw no true pleasure by looking forward, under the painful and
positive conviction, that what he calls "the present constitution," is
merely temporary. As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this
government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure anything which we may
bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the
next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them
meanly and pitifully. In order to discover the line of our duty rightly, we.
should take our children in our hand, and fix our station a few years farther
into life; that eminence will present a prospect, which a few present fears and
prejudices conceal from our sight.
Though I would carefully avoid giving
unnecessary offence, yet I am inclined to believe, that all those who espouse
the doctrine of reconciliation, may be included within the following
descriptions. Interested men who are not to be trusted, weak men who cannot
see, prejudiced men who will net see, and a certain set of moderate
men who think better of the European world than it deserves; and this last
class, by an ill-judged deliberation, will be the cause of more calamities to
this continent, than all the other three.
It is the good fortune of many to live
distant from the scene of present sorrow; the evil is not sufficiently brought
to their doors to make them feel the precariousness with which all
American property is possessed. But yet our imaginations transport us for a few
moments to Boston; that seat of wretchedness will teach us wisdom, and instruct
us forever to renounce a power in whom we can have no trust. The inhabitants of
that unfortunate city who but a few months ago were in ease and affluence, have
now no other alternative than to stay and starve, or turn out to beg. Endangered
by the fire of their friends if they
continue within the city, and plundered by government if they leave it. In their
present condition they are prisoners without the hope of redemption, and in a
general attack for their relief they would be exposed to the fury of both
Men of passive tempers look somewhat
lightly over the offences of Great Britain, and still hoping for the best, are
apt to call out. Come, come, we shall be friends again for all this. But
examine the passions and feelings of mankind; Bring the doctrine of
reconciliation to the touchstone of nature and then tell me whether you can
hereafter love, honor, and faithfully serve the power that hath carried fire and
sword into your land? If you cannot do all these, then are you only deceiving
yourselves, and by your delay bringing ruin upon posterity. Your future
connection with Britain whom you can neither love nor honor, will be forced and
unnatural, and being formed only on the plan of present convenience, will in a
little time, fall into a relapse more wretched than the first. But if you say,
you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, Hath your house been burnt?
Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are your wife and children
destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a
child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have
not, then you are not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and still can
shake hands with the murderers, then are you unworthy the name of husband,
father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you
have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant.
This is not inflaming or exaggerating
matters, by trying them by those feelings and affections which nature justifies,
and without which, we should be incapable of discharging the social duties of
life, or enjoying the felicities of it. I mean not to exhibit horror for the
purpose of provoking revenge, but to awaken us from fatal and unmanly slumbers,
that we may pursue determinately some fixed object. It is not in the power of
England or of Europe to conquer America, if she doth not conquer herself by
delay and timidity. The present winter is worth an age if rightly
employed, but if lost or neglected, the whole continent will partake of the
misfortune; and there is no punishment which that man doth not deserve, be he
who, or what, or where he will, that may be the means of sacrificing a season so
precious and useful.
It is repugnant to reason, to the
universal order of things; to all examples from former ages, to suppose, that
this continent can long remain subject to any external power. The most sanguine
in Britain doth not think so. The utmost stretch of human wisdom cannot, at this
time, compass a plan, short of separation, which can promise the continent even
a year's security. Reconciliation is now a fallacious dream. Nature hath
deserted the connection, and art cannot supply her place. For as Milton wisely
expresses "never can true reconciliation grow where
wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep."
Every quiet method for peace hath been
ineffectual. Our prayers have been rejected with disdain; and hath tended to
convince us that nothing flatters vanity or confirms obstinacy in kings more
than repeated petitioning and nothing hath contributed more, than that very
measure, to make the Kings of Europe absolute. Witness Denmark and Sweden.
Wherefore, since nothing but blows will do, for God's sake let us come to a
final separation, and not leave the next generation to be cutting throats under
the violated unmeaning names of parent and child.
To say, they will never attempt it again
is idle and visionary, we thought so at the repeal of the stamp-act, yet a year
or two undeceived us; as well may we suppose that nations which have been once
defeated will never renew the quarrel.
As to government matters it is not in the
power of Britain to do this Continent justice: The business of it will soon be
too weighty and intricate to be managed with any tolerable degree of
convenience, by a power so distant from us, and so very ignorant of us; for if
they cannot conquer us, they cannot govern us. To be always running three or
four thousand miles with a tale or a petition, waiting four or five months for
an answer, which when obtained requires five or six more to explain it in, will
in a few years be looked upon as folly and childishness. There was a time when
it was proper, and there is a proper time for it to cease.
Small islands not capable of
protecting themselves, are the proper objects for government to take under their
care: but there is something very absurd, in supposing a Continent to be
perpetually governed by an island. In no instance hath nature made the satellite
larger than its primary planet, and as England and America with respect to each
other reverse the common
order of nature, it is evident they belong to different systems. England to
Europe: America to itself.
I am not induced by motives of pride,
party or resentment to espouse the doctrine of separation and independence; I am
clearly, positively, and conscientiously persuaded that It is the true interest
of this continent to be so; that everything short of that is mere patchwork,
that it can afford no lasting felicity that it is leaving the sword to our
children, and shrinking back at a time, when a little more, a little farther,
would have rendered this continent the glory of the earth.
As Britain hath not manifested the least
inclination towards a compromise, we may be assured that no terms can be
obtained worthy the acceptance of the continent, or any ways equal to the
expense of blood and treasure we have been already put to
The object contended for, ought always to
bear some just proportion to the expense. The removal of North, or the whole
detestable junto, is a matter unworthy the millions we have expended. A
temporary stoppage of trade was an inconvenience, which would have sufficiently
balanced the repeal of all the acts complained of, had such repeals been
obtained; but if the whole Continent must take up arms, if every man must be a
soldier, It is scarcely worth our while to fight against a contemptible ministry
only. Dearly, dearly do we pay for the repeal of the acts, if that is all we
fight for; for in a just estimation, it is as great a folly to pay a
Bunker’s-Hill price for law as for land. As I have always considered the
independence of this Continent as an event which sooner or later must arrive, so
from the late rapid progress of the Continent to maturity, the event could not
be far off. Wherefore on the breaking out of hostilities, it was not worth the
while to have disputed a matter, which time would have finally redressed, unless
we meant to be in earnest; otherwise it is like wasting an estate on a suit at
law, to regulate the 'trespasses of a tenant, whose lease is just expiring. No
man was a warmer wisher for reconciliation than myself, before the fatal
nineteenth of April 1775, but the moment the event of that day was made known, I
rejected the hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh for ever; and disdain the wretch,
that with the pretended title of
Father Of His People
can unfeelingly hear of their slaughter, and composedly sleep with their blood
upon his soul.
But admitting that matters were now made
up. what would be the event? I answer, the ruin of the continent. And that for
The powers of governing still remaining in the hands 'of the king, he will have
a negative over the whole legislation of this Continent: And as he hath shewn
himself such an inveterate enemy to liberty, and discovered such a thirst for
arbitrary power; is he, or is he not, a proper man to say to these Colonies, “You
shall make no laws but what I please!” And is there any inhabitant in
America so ignorant, as not to know that according to what is called the
present constitution, that this Continent can make no laws but what the king
gives leave to; and is there any man so unwise, as not to see, that (considering
what has happened) he will suffer no laws to be made here, but such as suit his
purpose? We may be as effectually enslaved by the want of laws in America, as by
submitting to laws made for us
in England. After matters are made up (as it is called) can it here be any
doubt, but the whole power of the crown will be exerted to keep this Continent
as low and humble as possible? Instead of going forward, we shall go backward,
or be perpetually quarrelling or ridiculously petitioning. We are already
greater than the king wishes us to be, and will he not hereafter endeavor to
make us less. To bring the matter to one point, is the power who is jealous of
our prosperity, a proper power to govern us? Whoever says no to this question is
an independent, for independency means no more than whether we shall make
our own laws, or, whether the king the greatest enemy this Continent hath, or
can have, shall tell us "there shall be no laws but
such as I like."
But the King you'll say hath a negative in
England; the people there can make no laws without his consent In point of right
and good order, there is something very ridiculous, that a youth of twenty-one
(which hath often happened) shall say to six millions of people older and wiser
than himself, "I forbid this” or “thatact of yours to be law."
But in this place I decline this sort of a reply, though I will never cease to
expose the absurdity of it, and only answer, that England being the King's
residence, and America not so, makes quite another case. The King's negative
here, is ten times more dangerous and fatal than it can be in England, for
there he will scarcely refuse his consent to a bill for putting England into
as strong a state of defense as possible, and here he would never suffer such a
bill to be passed.
America is only a secondary object in the
system of British politics. England consults the good of this country, no
farther, than it answers her own purpose. Wherefore her own interest leads her
to suppress the growth of ours in every case which doth not promote her own
advantage, or in the least interferes with it. A pretty state we should soon be
in, under such a second-hand government, considering what has happened! Men do
not change from enemies to friends by the alteration of a name: And in order to
shew that reconciliation tune is a dangerous doctrine, I affirm, that
it would be policy in the King at this time, to repeal the acts for the sake of
reinstating himself in the government of the provinces; in order that He MAY
ACCOMPLISH BY CRAFT AND SUBTEXT, IN THE LONG RUN, WHAT HE CANNOT DO BY FORCE AND
VIOLENCE IN THE SHORT ONE. Reconciliation and ruin are nearly related.
That as even the best terms which we can expect to obtain, can
amount to no more than a temporary expedient, or a kind of government by
guardianship, which can last no longer than till the colonies come of age, so
the general face and state of things in the interim will be unsettled and
unpromising. Emigrants of property will not choose to come to a country whose
form of government hangs but by a thread, and who is every day tottering on the
brink of commotion and disturbance, and numbers of the present inhabitants would
lay hold of the interval to dispose of their effects, and quit the continent.
most powerful of all arguments is, that nothing but independence, i.e. a
continental form of government, can keep the peace of the continent and preserve
it inviolate from civil wars. I dread the event of a reconciliation with Britain
now, as it is more than probable, that it will be followed by a revolt
somewhere or other, the consequences of which may be far more fatal than all the
malice of Britain.
are already ruined by British barbarity! Thousands more will probably suffer
the same fate! Those men have other feelings than us who have nothing
suffered. All they now possess is liberty, what they before enjoyed is
sacrificed to its service and having nothing more to lose, they disdain
submission. Besides, the general temper of the colonies towards a British
government, will be like that of a youth, who is nearly out of his time; they
will care very little about her. And a government which cannot preserve the
peace, is no government at all, and in that case we pay our money for nothing;
and pray what is it that Britain can de, whose power will be wholly on paper,
should a civil tumult break out the very day after reconciliation? I have heard
some men say, many of whom I believe spoke without thinking, that they dreaded
an independence fearing that it would produce civil wars. It is but seldom that
our first thoughts are truly correct, and that is the case here; for there are
ten times more to dread from a patched up connection, than from independence. I
make the sufferers case my own, and I protest, that were I driven from house and
home, my property destroyed, and my circumstances ruined, that as a man sensible
of injuries, I could never relish the doctrine of reconciliation, or consider
myself bound thereby.
Colonies have manifested such a spirit of good order and obedience to
continental government, as is sufficient to make every reasonable person easy
and happy on that head. No man can assign the least pretence for his fears, on
any other grounds, than such as are truly childish and ridiculous, viz. that one
colony will be striving for superiority over another.
there are no distinctions, there can be no superiority; perfect equality affords
no temptation. The republics of Europe are all, and we may say always in peace.
Holland and Switzerland are without wars foreign or domestic: Monarchical
governments, it is true, are never long at rest; the crown itself is a
temptation to enterprising ruffians at home; and that degree of pride
and insolence ever attendant on regal authority, swells into a rupture with
foreign powers, in instances, where a republican government by being formed on
more natural principles, would negotiate the mistake.
is any true cause for fear respecting independence, it is because no plan is yet
laid down: men do not see their way out. Wherefore, as an opening into that
business I offer the following hints; at the same time modestly affirming, that
I have no other opinion of them myself, than that they may be the means of
giving rise to something better. Could the straggling thoughts of individuals be
collected, they would frequently form materials for wise and able men to improve
into useful matter.
assemblies be annual with, a President only. The Representation more equal:
Their business wholly domestic, and subject to the authority of a Continental
Colony be divided into six, eight, or ten convenient districts, each district to
send a proper number of Delegates to Congress, so that each Colony send at least
thirty. The whole number in Congress will be at least 390. Each Congress to sit
and to choose a president by the following method: When the Delegates are met,
let a colony be taken from the whole thirteen Colonies by lot, after which let
the whole Congress choose (by ballot) a president from out of the Delegates of
that province. In the next Congress let a Colony be taken by lot from twelve
only, omitting that Colony from which the president was taken in the former
Congress, and so proceeding on till the whole thirteen shall have had their
proper rotation. And in order that nothing may pass into a law but what is
satisfactorily just, not less than three fifths of the Congress to be called a
majority. He that will promote discord under a government so equally formed as
this, would have joined Lucifer in his revolt.
there is a peculiar delicacy from whom, or in what manner, this business must
first arise, and as it seems most agreeable and consistent, that it should come
from some intermediate body between the governed and the governors, that is,
between the Congress and the People. Let a CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE be held in the
following manner, and for the following purpose.
Committee of twenty-six members of Congress, viz. two for each Colony. Two
members from each house of Assembly, or Provincial convention; and five
Representatives of the people at large, to be chosen in the capital city or town
of each Province, for, and in behalf of the whole Province, by as many qualified
voters as shall think proper to attend from all parts of the Province for that
purpose; or if more convenient, the Representatives may be chosen in two or
three of the most populous parts thereof. In this Conference thus assembled,
will be united the two grand principles of business, knowledge and
power. The members of Congress, Assemblies, or Conventions, by having had
experience in national concerns, will be able and useful counselors, and the
whole, by being empowered by the people, will have a truly legal authority.
conferring members being met, let their business be to, frame a Continental
Charter, or Charter of the United Colonies; (answering to what is called the
Magna Charta of England) fixing the number and manner of choosing members of
Congress, members of Assembly, with their date of sitting, and drawing the line
of business and jurisdiction between them; always remembering that our strength
and happiness is continental not provincial. Securing freedom and property to
all men, and above all things, the free exercise of religion, according to the
dictates of conscience; with such other matter as is necessary for a charter to
contain. Immediately after which, the said conference to dissolve, and the
bodies which shall be chosen conformable to the said charter, to be the
legislators and governors of this continent, for the time being: Whose peace and
happiness, may God preserve! Amen.
Should any body of men be hereafter delegated for this or some similar purpose,
I offer them the following extracts from that wise observer on governments
Dragonetti: "The Science" says he "of the Politician consists in fixing
the true point of happiness and freedom. Those men would deserve the gratitude
of ages, who should discover a mode of government that contained the greatest
sum of individual happiness, with the least national expense."—Dragonetti
on Virtue and Rewards.
say some is the King of America? I'll tell you, friend, he reigns above; and
doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Great Britain. Yet that
we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly
set apart for proclaiming the Charter; let it be brought forth placed on the
divine law, the word of God; let a Crown be placed thereon, by which the world
may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America, The Law is
For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law
ought to be King and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should
afterwards arise let the Crown at the conclusion of the ceremony be demolished,
and scattered among the People whose right it is.
government of our own is our natural right: and when a man seriously reflects on
the precariousness of human affairs, he will become convinced, that it is
infinitely wiser and safer, to form a constitution of our own, in a cool
deliberate manner, while we have it in our own power, than to trust such an
interesting event to time and chance. If we omit it now, some Massanello (Thomas
Anello, otherwise Massanello, a fisherman of Naples, who after spiriting his
countrymen in the public marketplace, against the oppression of the Spaniards,
to who the place was then subject, prompted them to revolt, and in the space of
a day became king ) may hereafter arise, who laying hold of popular
disquietudes, may collect together the desperate and discontented, and by
assuming to themselves the powers of government, may sweep away the liberties of
the Continent like a deluge. Should the government of America return again into
the bands of Britain, the tottering situation of things, will be a temptation
for some desperate adventurer to try his fortune; and such a case, what relief
can Britain give? Ere she could hear the news, the fatal business might be done;
and ourselves suffering like the wretched Britons, under the oppression of the
conqueror. Ye that oppose independence now, ye know not what ye do; ye are
opening a door to eternal tyranny, by keeping vacant the seat of government.
There are thousands and tens of thousands, who would think it glorious to expel
from the continent that barbarous and hellish power, which have stirred up the
Indians and the Negroes to destroy us, the cruelty hath a double guilt, it is
dealing brutally by us and treacherously by them.
To talk of
friendship with those in whom our reason forbids us to have faith, and our
affections wounded thro'' a thousand pores instruct us to detest, is madness and
folly. Every day wears out the little remains of kindred between us and them,
and can there be any reason to hope, that as the relationship expires, the
affection will increase, or that we shall agree better, when we have ten times
more and greater concerns to quarrel over than ever?
tell us of harmony and reconciliation can ye restore to us the time that is
past? Can ye give to prostitution its former innocence? Neither can ye reconcile
Britain and America. The last cord now is broken, the people of England are
presenting addresses against us There are injuries which nature cannot forgive;
she would cease to be nature if she did. As well can the lover forgive the
ravisher of his mistress, as the Continent, forgive the murders of
Britain. The Almighty hath implanted in us these unextinguishable feelings for
good and wise purposes.
the guardians of his image in our hearts. Tiny distinguish us from the herd of
common animals. The social compact would dissolve, and justice be extirpated the
earth, or have only a casual existence were we callous to the touches of
affection. The robber and the murderer would often escape unpunished, did not
the injuries which our tempers sustain, provoke us into justice.
O ye that
love mankind; ye that dare oppose not only the tyranny but the tyrant, stand
forth; every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been
hunted round the globe. Asia and Africa have long expelled her. Europe regards
her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O receive the
fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.
This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected,
associated with or authorized by the individual, family,
friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or
the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated
sites that are related to this subject will be hyper
linked below upon submission
and Evisum, Inc. review.
Please join us in our mission to incorporate The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The
People. Click Here